The difference between probation and parole is not understood by many. This is due to the fact that many at times the supervisors in both are referred to as probation officers. Crime and offenders are also involved in both the instances. However, there is a difference between the two and it must be understood where to use each of the terms with reference to whatever one tries to imply (Rendell, G. 2009). The people on parole may not necessarily be on probation. The difference comes in the sentence and the incarceration there after.
Probation is considered part of the sentence that a judge may pass depending on the crime. After serving his/her time in jail, the offender may not be released immediately. He/she might be sent on probation under the watch of a probation officer to monitor the person’s progress. If the offender happens to commit a crime while on probation, he/she might be sent back to jail (Alcarm, P. 2001). Parole, on the other hand, is not part of a sentence. It is granted to people who are already in jail.
If while in prison an offender seems to have maintained good behavior, s/he will be taken before the parole board and if they unanimously agree on this, he might be released before his/her time is up. However, if released and for some reason he commits an offense while on parole, he is sent back to prison to complete his/her time. While on parole, the offender must meet regularly with the probation officer. Failure to do this may result in the offenders return to prison (Thompson, S. 2004). Which system is therefore better for convicts? In my view, the probation system is the better way of handling this situation.
This is due to the fact that probation is part of the sentence. One wouldn’t have to worry about an offender being released from prison before his/her time is up. There is also a chance that while in prison, one may pretend and act as though as he/she has changed. The person may be granted parole and when released, goes back to commit the same offense that he/she was convicted for. References Alcarm, P. (2001), modern ways of sentence, London: SAGE. Rendell, G. (2009), mandatory terms are not the solution, New York: Thompson, S. (2004), prison life. Washington: Oxford University Press.